NFL chiefs are set to approve plans guaranteeing London hosts at least two regular season games from the 2022 season onwards.
According to internal documents seen by City A.M., NFL team owners will vote on proposals to host four international games a year – two in London, one in either Berlin or Munich and one in Mexico City – with the teams chosen on a rotating basis.
The vote, held either today or tomorrow, is expected to pass as part of a wider restructure of the league season.
Fans have grown used to four games being played in the UK in recent years.
However, City A.M. understands individual clubs could volunteer to play in London independent of the two league-mandated games already set to be hosted here, raising the prospect of additional games in the UK.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have played in London in every season since 2013, and owner Shahid Khan – who also bankrolls Fulham FC – is said to be keen on growing the team’s fanbase in the UK.
The proposals, which will be voted on either today or tomorrow at the league’s annual general meeting, could also see the NFL wave goodbye to Wembley Stadium.
Instead, both obligatory games would be hosted at Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium.
The league’s plan would see “high market attendance” teams play international games “where/when” feasible, suggesting that the most popular clubs in the UK could well see a game scheduled for N17.
The vote comes as part of a wider expansion of the league season from 16 to 17 games, with teams in one conference receiving an additional, inter-conference home game.
Under the plans, it would be teams in that conference that would be in the ‘home game’ rotation for international games.
The NFL has been playing regular season games in London since 2007. Only the Green Bay Packers are yet to play in London, though the new formula would suggest they might make the trip in 2022.
The league is yet to confirm whether any games will take place in London in 2021. Commissioner Roger Goodell has said it remains his ambition but Covid-19 uncertainty continues to hang heavy.